What are some of the key strategies implemented by the team for the company in the past year to ensure safety and workplace efficiency?
Safety and workplace efficiency are linked in the context of an office environment, but they are neither connected nor interdependent. Safety in an office place has been ensured by following the recommended COVID protocols like entry point temperature checks, multiple sanitization points, attendance management, mandatory masking, and social distancing to the extent possible. In construction sites, we have ensured single-point entry and exit with temperature checks and sanitization points. Required RTPCR tests are the norm in most sites post the second wave. Labour movement also has been restricted depending on the floor plate sizes.
Workplace efficiency as a strategy has gained urgency due to the pandemic. We have seen CRE professionals grappling with the pandemic as it unfolded in India and across the globe over the last year. After considering multiple scenarios and options, we have now settled to the reality of a hybrid workplace with a mix of permanent and transient workforce. The workplace design is evolving accordingly with stress on low density, informal collaborative workplaces, clean air distribution, touchless fixtures, and meeting rooms designed for virtual meetings.
How is technology transforming operations within a workplace?
People today are genuinely interested in exploring and implementing touchless modes of operation across the office space. The technology for the same has got a boost due to the pandemic. Some of the common features which have gained ground are sensor-based plumbing controls, voice-operated communication systems, face identification-based access control systems, and sensor-based light control systems.
Most of the latest technologies require a significant CAPEX investment, but such controls’ benefits are becoming apparent to the users. We anticipate the office’s MEP backbone will soon be under an IOT platform, with all fixtures and fittings being controlled and scheduled remotely. The technology is available, and now coupled with intent, the office space will become automated sooner than what was expected earlier.
Within which domain of a landscape IoT is expected to make major strides in the office space. In addition to the physical space, technologies that support office functions will gain ground. These include digitization of corporate functions, e-procurement, employee welfare, office transportation, facility management, security systems, and even monitoring of employee health, both physical and mental.
Sustainability was a key factor for every company prior to the pandemic; has it now taken a back seat? How are companies working towards balancing sustainability with safety in the post-pandemic era?
Sustainability is too significant a factor to be given a back seat today. We cannot afford to ignore it any longer. The future of our planet is connected to the manner we address sustainability today. Most of the corporates have realized its importance and already announced their commitment to various sustainability goals. The pandemic had accelerated that movement. The need of the hour is to be aware of the implication of what you are building and how the same is affecting the environment. Circular economy movement, net-zero carbon goals, LEED ratings, and Wellness ratings are all spokes of the same wheel that can slow down the immense harm we do to our environment every day.
About the author
By Arnab Ghosh, MD, Corporate Fitouts (India), Colliers India
Arnab Ghosh is a highly experienced real estate professional with over two decades of experience in the industry. He has extensive exposure in managing various aspects of project development, including design, cost, and construction management across different asset classes.